Former Norfolk Southern pipefitter pleads guilty to stealing $447,000 in disability benefits

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A former pipefitter for Norfolk Southern railroad could spend 10 years in prison for stealing more than $400,000 from the government.

Norfolk Southern railroad trains. (Southside Daily/Adrienne Mayfield)

Norfolk Southern railroad trains. (Southside Daily/Adrienne Mayfield)

Chesapeake’s Jeffrey A. Ratliff, 60, pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing $447,483 in disability benefits from the U.S. Railroad Requirement Board (RRB), according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice.

Ratliff worked for the railroad for almost 21 years before leaving the job in March 1995.  He applied for a disability annuity in July 1995 for injuries he got on the job in 1990. He said that those injuries kept him from working, but he was employed as a real estate agent, the release states.

During a voluntary interview with federal agents in July 2015, Ratliff admitted to working in real estate and using his wife’s social security number to hide his income.

In addition to prison time, Ratliff could be charged a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2017.

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